- The Washington Times - Friday, July 10, 2009

From combined dispatches

JOLIET, Ill. | Kyle Busch hasn’t mellowed following his last-lap accident at Daytona that sent him into the wall and then the infield care center - even as points leader Tony Stewart says all is fine between the former teammates.

Busch claimed Stewart “dumped him” - caused him to wreck - and questioned whether drivers should be allowed to win if they cause an accident that lets them take the lead.

“I think NASCAR can take a step in looking at it, and if the second-place driver bumps the leader, then black-flag [him],” Busch said Thursday at Chicagoland Speedway. “He doesn’t get the win.”

At Daytona, Busch took the lead on the next-to-last lap and tried to fend off a hard-charging Stewart. He successfully blocked Stewart once, but when he tried to do it again Stewart hooked Busch’s right rear fender, sending Busch into the wall a few hundred yards from the finish.

Busch had no problems with a driver bumping the one ahead of him out of the way if it doesn’t cause an accident.

“I gathered my stuff up and tried to block high, and it was too late,” Busch said. “Tony was already alongside.”

Stewart called the accident part of racing and said the two often-fiery drivers were on the same page following a 30-minute conversation about the wreck earlier this week.

Stewart declined to address Busch’s comments and said he only was going to judge Busch’s view of the incident based on their earlier conversation. When Stewart was asked whether his maneuver was considered a “dump,” he said, “I’m not biting.”

“Nobody wants what happened on the last lap to happen,” Stewart said. “Nobody wants to be in that situation because we all respect each other as drivers so much.”

Drug policy questioned

COLORADO SPRINGS | Although NASCAR contends it has the best anti-doping procedures in sports, some experts see flaws in the policy and question whether drivers are getting a fair shake in the lab or a safe ride on the track.

The debate between outfits that run Olympic-style testing programs and leagues that enforce their own - NASCAR, baseball and the NFL among them - has been going on for a while, but it’s taking on new relevance in the wake of Jeremy Mayfield’s case against NASCAR.

NASCAR suspended the 40-year-old driver May 9, eight days after failing a random drug test. NASCAR has said Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamine, but he has denied using the illegal drug.

Last week, a federal judge issued an injunction and overturned the drug suspension to let Mayfield compete. NASCAR is appealing the judge’s ruling, arguing that allowing “a proven methamphetamine user” back on the track could lead to fatal consequences for other competitors and fans.

The Mayfield case “will be used as Exhibit 1 of what can go horribly wrong when you don’t have an effective policy in place,” said Travis Tygart, CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Association.

Vickers claims pole

JOLIET, Ill. | Brian Vickers has won his fifth pole of the season, running a lap of 184.162 mph at Chicagoland Speedway.

Red Bull Racing teammate Scott Speed qualified second at 182.958. Three-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was third.

Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

Those poles haven’t helped Vickers get to Victory Lane. He hasn’t finished higher than fifth this season.

He has 10 career poles in 191 Cup races.

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